Small handed ladies and shifter preferance- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Small handed ladies and shifter preferance

    Hello ladies.

    My wife has always had trouble shifting, and has small hands. I guess her thumb just ins't long enough.

    Wondering if there are any small handed ladies out there and what your shifter preferance is.

    She had LX shifters on her Rocky Mountain, I switched them to XT, thinking that might help. Now i'm thinking GripShift may be the way to go.

    Anyone?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Try again. My wife has grip shift and hates it.
    Round and round we go

  3. #3
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    i have pretty small hands and switching from old XTs to new sram x9s helped a bit.

  4. #4
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    I've used XT dual control shift/brake levers and enjoyed them. Some people hate them. I have them set up with a rapid rise derailleur.

    Love em or hate em, just like grip shift.

  5. #5
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    I have tiny hands and I use the SRAM xo grip shift and I am very happy with them. They are light and inexpensive. I also have Avid Elixir CR brakes which has a very adjustable lever to acommodate my small hands. Being able to reach the brake lever comfotably is important.

  6. #6
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    The sram triggers are nice in that you can change the neutral point on the thumb lever to adjust reach, but that does not change the total amount of throw.

    My wife went through the new style XT triggers and X.0 triggers before she stole my shimano dual controls. She seems to be happy with the dual control so far.

    If you do look at the dual controls, the second generation (ST-M775) with the servo wave provides better reach adjustment than the old style, and I would recommend pairing them with a set of low friction cables to minimize the force you need to actuate them.

  7. #7
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    I use Sram X9 trigger shifters and my small paws/stubby fingers have no problems with them. I never liked grip shifters.

  8. #8
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    Switched to grip shift this winter b/c I was having the same problem with finger reach. I don't think I'll ever go back to triggers unless the technology changes significantly. I like the grip shift (using X.0) not only for the reach issue, but it also moves my brake levers out to the perfect position for one finger braking.

  9. #9
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    SRAM Amy grips with XO twist shifters

    when the XO triggers that came with mrs culturesponge's trailbike began to miss-shift we replaced them with XO twist shifters (she used to have an earlier version on her old '98 Schwinn Moab 1) but the new XO twist shift grips were too big for her hands & caused ulnar pain especially during longer rides so we swapped them for SRAM Amy - very happy now

    here's a recent pic

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/culturesponge/4841516641/" title="2008 Stumpjumper Carbon Pro FSR Euro version upgraded - Titec Pork Rinds - 28.07.10 #1350 v2 by culturesponge, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm5.static.flickr.com/4105/4841516641_2a6975f80b_b.jpg" width="1024" height="683" alt="2008 Stumpjumper Carbon Pro FSR Euro version upgraded - Titec Pork Rinds - 28.07.10 #1350 v2" /></a>

    (edit to DL pic)
    Last edited by culturesponge; 08-13-2010 at 11:44 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by culturesponge
    when the XO triggers that came with mrs culturesponge's trailbike began to miss-shift we replaced them with XO twist shifters (she used to have an earlier version on her old '98 Schwinn Moab 1) but the new XO twist shift grips were too big for her hands & caused ulnar pain especially during longer rides so we swapped them for SRAM Amy - very happy now

    heres a recent pic
    From the reach on that brake lever, mrs culturesponge has much larger hands/fingers than my wife! She could never reach those brakes.

    My wife's hands are very small.
    - First thing was smallish grips. She's using the ODI Ruffians on all her bikes. Smaller grips make other things easier to reach. The Riffians really aren't that small, but they're smaller than most. If she still had an issue, I'd have had gone to yet even smaller grips.

    - She has Shimano 775 brakes on two bikes, and Juicy 7s on another. All are set up so that the reach is very short, and the engagement point is just before hitting her fingers. She mostly uses only her index finger and some times her middle finger. They are so close that I can't use them without smashing my fingers.

    - She's using XT 760/770 levers. For a long time, she could not push in the shifter with her thumb without removing her hand from the bar to forcefully push on it. Over time, her thumb strength has improved, and she's able to shift normally. On the bike shown, I tried to move the shift levers outboard, but the overall fitment wasn't good.

    With the large diamter of the gripshift shifters, I can't imagine that it would be easy to grab.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Small handed ladies and shifter preferance-img_2625-lo.jpg  

    May the air be filled with tires!

  11. #11
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    it must be the angle of the photo - mrs culturesponge is assuring me that her glove size is small and she has no probs with lever reach with her R1's - but we had to adjust the reach on her '09 Marta's on her Vertex rigid trainer/"beater"

    before the Pork Rinds (in the pic) she was using ODI Subliminal grips (i nicked them to use them on the floor pump!) ESI do a grip called the Racers Edge they are on the Vertex and are also a great/affordable/American made grip for riders with smaller hands

    XTR triggers have good reach adjustment too, the ergonomics are very easy, natural & without stretching, just forefinger and thumb (she just said) "very easy" - i'm thinking XT triggers are going to be just as excellent


    (sorry if the grammer or spelling is bad - on an iphone)



    (edit to add pic)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Small handed ladies and shifter preferance-09-martas-xtr-triggers.jpg  

    Last edited by culturesponge; 07-30-2010 at 10:26 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay80424
    Hello ladies.

    My wife has always had trouble shifting, and has small hands. I guess her thumb just ins't long enough.

    Wondering if there are any small handed ladies out there and what your shifter preferance is.

    She had LX shifters on her Rocky Mountain, I switched them to XT, thinking that might help. Now i'm thinking GripShift may be the way to go.

    Anyone?
    Thanks in advance.
    I am not a lady (though I am a gentleman), but I have very small hands (most women have longer hands/fingers than me). I end up running brake levers as far in as they will go, use the thinnest grips available, and had to switch to the short-reach levers on my road bike.

    For MTB shifters, I found that grip shifters with the Amy grips work well, and Sram shifters (x-7 and x-9) work out well, too.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  13. #13
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    I had Sram xo shifters and found the throw too long. Hated them to the point that they actually injured my thumb from the strain.

    now riding Grip shifts and very happy.
    Also had the dual shimano pods - loved them too even though they look a bit frankenbike. Easiest, lightest shift around and never fatigued my hands on long (24 or more) events.

  14. #14
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    grip shifts rule

    I love my grip shifts--sorry I dunno what they are and I don't feel like going to the garage to look ...but they really work well for me and I have really small hands/ fingers. Stubs, one might say. And as was already mentioned, my hands are in perfect position for braking.

  15. #15
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    I have small hands too and my set-up is SRAM X9 triggers with Avid Juicy 7s for brakes and ODI Ruffians too. Hope that helps.
    My Rides:
    SS=Zion 853
    HT=Orbea D'ella
    FS=Yeti 575
    DH/FR=Yeti ASX
    DJ=Kona Cowan
    Road/CX=Orbea Terra

  16. #16
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    Only brakes I can reach is Avid Elixir. I have tried Shimano, Hope, Magura which I coundn't quite reach. As for shifters, I have been using Shimano XTR without much difficulty. Good luck!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay80424
    Hello ladies.

    My wife has always had trouble shifting, and has small hands. I guess her thumb just ins't long enough.
    I have tiny hands/short thumbs and always had a sore wrist after riding from having to contort it to shift to the easier gears with my thumb to go up hills. Well..... I changed that and couldn't be happier! I still have the regular index/thumb shifters - I changed my rear derailleur to a low-normal - Shimano XT RD-M770. NOW when I go up a hill, I just make a quick click with my FINGER rather than my thumb - YES, it is backwards from normal mtn. bike shifting. Sure, there is a small learning curve - but I would just think to myself that the shifter closest to the hill gets me up it. I just changed over the beginning of the summer and have already mastered it as it was an easy and logical change. And my wrist couldn't be happier!!! Good luck to you and your wife!

  18. #18
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    I have tiny hands and run Sram X9s. They work great.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by annamagpie
    I love my grip shifts--sorry I dunno what they are and I don't feel like going to the garage to look ...but they really work well for me and I have really small hands/ fingers. Stubs, one might say. And as was already mentioned, my hands are in perfect position for braking.
    XO 9 speed
    bikeporn is protected speech

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gomer hardtale
    XO 9 speed
    hey! thanks, danno!

  21. #21
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    8 of my bikes have SRAM X.O gripshift. they are great!

    As for brakes, i have a variety. juicy 7's, xt, hope race x, BB7's, and hayes louise. my favorite are the hope race. they are pricey! i can't afford to put them on everything. the rest of them seem to serve their purpose. i don't care for the hayes louise.

    my hands are the size of kid's hands.

    good luck

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